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Can you decide who gets your unused embryos?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2022 | Fertility Assistance |

Some California residents who rely on fertility assistance end up not using frozen embryos. If you’re in that situation, you might wonder if you can choose who will get your unused ones. There are different options available.

Choose the known donation option

If you decide to do a known donation, it means that you would donate your unused embryos to a person or couple who is not anonymous to you. Instead, similar to an open adoption, the recipients are known to you and you can have contact with them. For some people, this could be a tricky situation due to the legal implications: a child born to known donors would legally be theirs and not yours. However, you could inform the parents about any genetic medical conditions and history.

Choose another couple

You can also donate your unused embryos to a couple of your choosing to help them have a family. It could be a rewarding experience to go this route because many couples who have undergone fertility treatments have suffered multiple tragic losses and unsuccessful in-vitro fertilization attempts. Some of these couples also have genetic risks if they do have their own biological children. With a donated embryo, there is a very minute chance of such a risk existing.

Decide on an anonymous donation

Many people who decide not to use their extra embryos feel more comfortable about an anonymous donation. This means that the person or couple who ends up receiving your unused embryos remains unknown to you. The fertility clinic can find recipients who closely match your physical characteristics. For example, if you are a blonde woman with blue eyes, they might match your embryos up with another person who has the same hair and eye color or a couple where one person matches those characteristics.

There are many reasons why you might want to donate your embryos. It’s a selfless act that could help someone else start a family.